Looking to try your hand at making some fried rice at home instead of getting it from a Chinese restaurant? You might be stumped on what you could serve alongside your fried rice as a complementary dish to this staple of Chinese cuisine. So we’ve prepared a list of 8 tasty dishes that you can make to solve your problem of what to serve with fried rice.
What is Fried Rice?
Fried rice has many versions, all delicious in their own way!
There are many variations of this common asian dish, but all they all include rice that has been leftover and the technique of frying in high heat, usually with a wok. Different oils are used depending on the country of origin, such as sesame oil for Korean style fried rice. Ingredients used in fried rice are typically a mix of soy sauce, garlic, and diced or thinly sliced meat and vegetables. Most fried rice will use either chicken, beef, bbq pork, chinese sausage, spam or prawns as the meat element
A Short History of Fried Rice
Fried rice has a long and storied history dating back centuries
Traditionally, fried rice is eaten on its own as a main dish without any other sides. The earliest records of fried rice date back to imperial China in 589 - 618 AD during the Sui Dynasty. The dish started as a way to reuse and combine different leftovers that were still good to eat. The technique of stir frying in a wok only became popular during the Ming Dynasty in 1368 - 1644 AD.
The simplicity and easy inoffensive flavour and texture of fried rice has made it popular across the globe. It has been adapted to suit local tastes in many countries, with different ingredients being prominent in different countries. For example, kimchi fried rice is popular in South Korea, with the main flavouring ingredient being kimchi and kimchi juice. And in Indonesia, a sweet soy sauce called kecap manis is a unique flavouring ingredient to add sweetness and balance to the fried rice.
What to Serve With Fried Rice
Our first recommendation for what to serve with fried rice is chinese dumplings. Pan fried dumplings will give your meal the added texture and crunch that fried rice lacks. The easy solution here is to buy some frozen premade ones and air fry them or buy from a local takeaway.
A tried and tested dish that has gained popularity across the world just like fried rice
This cantonese dish is something you’ll find very popular amongst Chinese restaurants everywhere, especially in Western countries. The sweet element comes from either sugar or honey, and the sour from rice vinegar. This is a great way to introduce some sweet flavors to your savoury meal, and can be a great way to contrast a fried rice made with lots of spices or chilli.
Hailing from the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, this spicy chicken dish is popular both within China and outside of it. One for lovers of spice, this meat dish uses chilli as the main flavouring element. If you’ve got a milder flavoured yangzhou style fried rice, kung pao chicken will be the perfect side dish to add a big hit of flavour. We’ve got a great recipe that makes making this tasty dish quick and simple.
You only need chicken and teriyaki sauce to make this dish
Here we have another dish that will add a sweet element to your savoury meal. With origins coming from Japanese immigrants in America, the method of using teriyaki sauce to cook meat has become very popular both in Western countries and Japan as well.
Chicken teriyaki is a quick and simple meat dish that will complement your fried rice, and can be cooked with some simple store bought teriyaki sauce. Better yet, you can also use the same wok to stir fry your chicken teriyaki, just remember to slice the chicken thin so that it cooks evenly in the hot wok.
Originating in the US, you may have heard of deep fried egg rolls being a very popular dish ordered at chinese restaurants as a side dish for fried rice. But if you can’t find egg rolls to serve with your fried rice, you can substitute them with spring rolls which you can find in most supermarkets or asian takeaways. The crispy texture of either of them will be a perfect complement to your fried rice.
A quick dish you can make every day that’s both healthy and tasty
You can really use whatever vegetables you want for a stir fry and it will be good. But if you want some ideas, try using some green beans, sliced mushrooms, buk choy, capsicum and chopped carrot with green onions as your main ingredients. The addition of your vegetable stir fry to a fried rice with meat will make it a great balanced meal. To make it healthier, try to go light with the frying oil you use.
If you’ve made fried rice with stronger flavour, a good side dish to complement it is egg drop soup. The mild flavors won’t clash with the fried rice, and can cut down on the heaviness. This dish is also a great appetizer to serve before the fried rice, especially for any guests that you’re cooking for. If you accidentally make your fried rice with ingredients that make it too dry, the egg drop soup will provide the moisture that your meal needs.
The easiest side dish to complement your fried rice is a fried egg
A fried egg is a very quick and simple dish that solves your problem of what to serve with fried rice. Even if you already have some egg cooked with your fried rice, you can add a sunny side up egg. This will help you to add another dimension to the fried rice when you break the yolk. The extra moisture and thickness that the yolk can add to the fried rice will also help you if you used rice that was too dry or stale.
This is also the best option if you're short on time but still want to keep everything homemade. You can either make the fried egg before or after cooking your fried rice. Please note that if you put your egg on top of the hot fried rice, it will heat and cook the yolk if you leave it for a long time.
Feeling Hungry Yet?
There’s a lot of side dishes that are great to solve your problem of what to serve with fried rice. From bigger main dishes like kung pao chicken to smaller sides like a fried egg, choose one and you’re sure to make your next meal a standout. For more cooking tips or recipes, check out the Uncle Buffalo blog or browse our official website where you’ll find great deals on top-quality cookware to help you cook all these delicious dishes.